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DesktopWeb FormText   Promise SmartStor ... not so smartSat, 08 Mar 2008 03:50:25 GMT # 

had 4 loose drives that i wanted to build into a RAID ... so i picked up a Promise SmartStor from Fry's for $350. i consider that a great price for a bare-bones NAS enclosure. hardware-wise ... it's plastic. that wasn't expected, but it seems solid enough. it's also lounder than my other NAS devices. installation was easy and it was setup for RAID 5 within an hour.

copied some files over to it and then tested it out to see how it would fit into my media setup. first, i upgraded the hardware and got the latest DLNA add-in updated. fire up the 360, and it doesnt show up. this is because the Xbox 360 isnt DLNA compliant and looks for magic strings like ModelName beginning with 'Windows Media Connect' (detailed here). so that's the 360s fault ... and that needs to be fixed ASAP. NOTE, my Infrant ReadyNAS and WHS do work with the 360 because they send the appropriate magic strings. second, i fire up the Klegg MediaShare, because it works off of Windows shares ... and the SmartStor can do Windows shares. the SmartStor shows up as an available device, and it lists the initial directories. but when i try to drill into a directory, there are no files or folders listed. i 'think' this is because the SmartStor cannot share without requiring a password ... even the 'guest' account is passworded. NOTE the Klegg MediaShare can see the shares of WHS, Infrant ReadyNAS, and PCs on my network. third, i try to hack around the share problem. my attempt was to map the SmartStor shares to a PC, and then have the PC share those folders without requiring a password ... but i couldn't get the mapped drives shared. fourth, the only other thing i can think of is to map the drives to my MCE PC, and then use MCE to share the files to the 360 in an extender session. the problem is i hardly use MCE anymore, so that's out. so i'm pretty much stuck. the SmartStor could be a decent NAS if they updated its DLNA service to support the 360 and if it could share files/folders without requiring a password. unless i hear good news from Promise support, i'll be returning it to get a different bare-bones NAS enclosure.